Lancaster City seal title triumph with five-star display at Glossop

Phil Brown, right, and his coaching staff with the trophy.
Phil Brown, right, and his coaching staff with the trophy.

Lancaster City romped to the Evo-Stik First Division North title with a thumping 5-2 final-day win at Glossop North End.

Jordan Connerton scored a first-half hat-trick with Ryan Winder and Craig Carney also on target as the Dolly Blues grabbed all their goals in a scintillating first-half display.

Max Leonard did reduce the arrears to 2-1 at one point but the Dollies were ruthless in the face of some charitable defending as they sealed promotion.

The visitors went in front with their first real chance.

After some tidy footwork from Connerton fed Carney, the latter found Winder in space on the edge of the area and he fired hard and low and into the net to settle any early nerves.

Both sides were finding some joy in the final third early on though and Leonard blazed wide when he should have done better for the hosts.

Lancaster were the more clinical though and doubled their advantage just after the quarter hour.

Connerton intercepted a poor pass across the defence and the ball broke for Winder, who immediately played City's top scorer in behind, the front man making no mistake one-on-one with Jonathan Diba Musangu.

The hosts were always in the game though and nearly pulled a freak goal back, Jacob Gregory relieved to see his clearance from inside the six-yard area bounce back off a Glossop player and over the bar.

The Surrey Street men didn't have to wait long for their opener though and were on target with a fine goal on 28 minutes.

After a ball came in from the right Mike Norton's initial effort was blocked but the ball sat up nicely for Leonard to hammer home a right-foot volley.

Despite the setback, the title was then all but won in seven first-half minutes.

Tom Kilifin this time played Connerton in behind and he had the composure to shift back onto his favoured left foot before placing the ball into the corner beyond Musangu on 39 minutes to restore the two-goal advantage.

It was four a minute before the interval, Carney latching onto Ricky Mercer's ball over the top and as Musangu hesitated, the City midfielder converted from a tight angle on the volley.

Brown's side weren't done in the first half and there was time for a fifth in stoppage time as Glossop went from one defensive horrorshow to another.

Gregory's cross from the right by-passed several defenders with Connerton completing his hat-trick with a simple finish from close range.

With Glossop making a triple change at the break, chances came at both ends in the early stages of the second half.

Adam Jones headed over for the new-look hosts before Kilifin could only volley high and wide for Lancaster.

Leonard was then given time and space to curl a shot narrowly over from the edge of the area after the Dolly Blues spurned several chances to clear.

After the carnage of the first half the second period was more sedate, Hale needing to alert to deny Leonard after he broke in behind just before the hour.

The City ‘keeper then produced a sharp low save as Ben Richardson drilled a shot goalwards with a good portion of the ground seemingly waiting for the party to start.

With the game drifting to a conclusion, Leonard got his second 11 minutes from time, Glossop's star man breaking in behind before beating Hale one-on-one.

After a title race with Farsley Celtic full of twists and turns there was to be no late drama though.

There was still time for Connerton to come close to his fourth as the Dollies sealed their place in the Premier Division in emphatic fashion and paid a fitting tribute to former captain Neil Marshall.

Glossop North End: Musangu, Parker, Richardson, Hurtley (Johnson 46), Rick (Jones 46), Andrews, Heeley, Jones, Norton (capt), Leonard, Platt (Moran 46). Subs not used: Lowe, Turner.

Lancaster City: Hale, Gregory (Hudson 90), Clark, Akrigg, Westwood, Mercer (capt), Winder (Shearwood 87), Carney, Connerton, Kilifin (Mayers 66), Earl. Subs not used: Henry, Tam.

Referee: C Buxton

Attendance: 741